Economic Empowerment and Environmental Stewardship

Economic Empowerment and IcFEM LTD

IcFEM Limited is a separately registered ‘for profit’ company, and while it has been established to uphold the vision and aim of the Mission, its primary purpose is to make an honest profit in order to generate funds for the Mission, to sponsor projects that will empower the community economically. It aims to provide technical assistance and loans to IcFEM Mission Local Transformation Units (LTUs) and Fellowships in environmentally sustainable agri-businesses. Profits from this company will be ploughed back into the Mission and the Communities involved represented by their LTUs and Fellowships.

IcFEM Ltd is a new social enterprise ‘arm’ of the Mission. IcFEM Ltd designs, manages and implements rural and urban development projects on a ‘for profit’ basis using a social enterprise model based on a sharing of profits. IcFEM Ltd will eventually evolve into a social enterprise with a portfolio of businesses and investment opportunities that aim to encourage both local and international investments on a profitable, interest bearing, and environmentally sustainable basis.We are already operating a number of small businesses including agency banking, lorry & tractor hire services and a demonstration agri-business farm.

Agency banking

  • Partnerships with three banks: Kenya Commercial Bank, Co-Operative, and Equity.
  • Provides a secure banking service in local market centres such as Kimilili.
  • Services include: opening a bank account, depositing and withdrawing cash.
  • Supports DMH in revenue collection and banking services for patients.
  • Managed by Rosemary Lukulu.

Lorry and tractor service:

  • Allows local people to hire vehicles for short time periods.
  • Facilitates the transport and delivery of goods, and the tractor is especially useful to farmers in ploughing their fields.
  • Provides subsidised transport services for Mission institution development and building projects.
  • Managed by Peter Okadie.

Demonstration agri-business Farm:

  • Provides a demonstration for both farmer training and profit making purposes.
  • Current demonstrations include a tree/fruit nursery, tissue culture banana plantation, drip irrigation site, hybrid mango and avocado fruit trees, a solar powered water system, a chicken business.
  • Future planned additional demonstrations will include beekeeping, biogas, and stall fed dairy cows.
  • Managed by Richard Masibo.

We have designed a number of new agri-business product business plans aimed at supporting small-scale farmers and business people. These include tree and fruit nursery, bee-keeping, poultry farming, dairy farming, greenhouse farming, drip irrigation, tissue culture bananas, bio-gas, and bamboo production.

We have a new IcFEM Ltd office and demonstration agri-business farm site, where we will host and facilitate training sessions to farmers and groups interested in establishing any one of our agri-business products. We are working with local and national governments, as well as international non-governmental organisations.

Currently, we do not have the investment capital required to purchase additional land, but we aim to support newly formed LTUs and Fellowships to kick-start some of these businesses within their own communities on their own farms.

What is the relationship between IcFEM Ltd and the Economic Empowerment Pillar?

As mentioned above, IcFEM Ltd aims to generate profits for the Mission. A proposed 75% of these profits will be reinvested into the LTUs and Fellowships which have been formed within the Mission’s operational area. This money will be utilised by the Economic Empowerment Pillar team members to provide the necessary facilitation for Mission technical staff to visit and advise farmers and groups on their agri-businesses.

Already recent graduates from the IcFEM Institute of Accelerated Transformation Studies (IIACTS) are initiating agri-businesses within their newly formed Fellowship groups and as individual farmers. The Economic Empowerment Pillar staff will work closely with these graduates to provide technical and networking support to ensure maximum success for their ventures.

In order to provide immediate technical support and demonstrate the value to farmers with our products, it is important we initiate some of these businesses ourselves. We have identified the tree and fruit nursery, banana growing, drip irrigation, and poultry farming as the most low-risk investments with the fastest break-even points.